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Published June 15, 2008, 12:00 AM

Canada thistle CRP plot tour set for June 25 in Ada

If you are a current CRP contract holder and are wondering what might be the best way to control Canada thistle and other weeds on your land, you will want to mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to noon.

By: Will Yliniemi, DL-Online

If you are a current CRP contract holder and are wondering what might be the best way to control Canada thistle and other weeds on your land, you will want to mark your calendar for Wednesday, June 25, from 9 a.m. to noon.

A CRP weed control plot tour will be held on the Don Anderson farm, located 10 miles northeast of Ada, Minn. Besides viewing current weed control research on CRP land, other topics to be covered in the plot tour are: optimum timing for controlling Canada thistle, late season applications, mid CRP contract management, CRP re-enrollment, rotation crop restrictions, economic considerations, tree and brush control, Carbon Credits, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement, and the Norman County Cooperative Weed management Area.

University, USDA, SWCD, and industry speakers will cover the above topics. A noon lunch will be served. Sponsors include the University of Minnesota Extension Service, Norman Co. Soil and Water, USDA, Triangle Ag, and Dow AgroSciences. For more information, contact Extension Educator Ray Bisek, at the local University of Minnesota Extension Office (218-784-5551 or 935-2226) or U of M Extension Integrated Pest Management Specialist Carlyle Holen at 218-281-8691.

What’s in your dairy ration?

The following information is from J.W. Schroeder, Dairy Specialist with the North Dakota State University Extension Service. Schroeder looks at how important ration balancing, preparation and feeding is in the dairy business.

Feed bunk management is a big part of controlling feed costs. The total mixed ration (TMR) technique has helped dairy farmers achieve record milk production levels. But despite the science that goes into nutrition, the art of nutrition is equally important. With feeding systems, the TMR approach is, estimated to be, used by more than 45 percent of today’s dairies.

But just mixing the feed is not enough. In reality, you have four rations, at least from the cow’s perspective. They are:

n Ration 1: the ration that has been formulated on paper. You and your nutritionist attempt to get the right ingredients to the right cows.

n Ration 2: the ration mixed on the farm. Is your feeder accurately weighing and combining the ingredients indicated in No. 1 above? Are the feeds in the yard the same as the feeds on paper?

n Ration 3: the ration consumed by the cow. Was this filling? How does the dry matter compare? Have you communicated this to your nutritionist?

n Ration 4: the ration fermented in the rumen and digested by the cow. Fermentation and digestion are affected by all three of the above rations and the quality of the feed in the yard.

When facing the challenge of high feed costs, don’t make uninformed decisions. Instead, evaluate your management factors, and don’t forget to see the feed bunk “through your cow’s eyes.” Work with your feed consultant and your farm manager to make sure your rations are cost effective and will promote healthy production levels.

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